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In honor of Armed Forces Day (May 21), we’d like to recognize our brothers who are currently serving or who have served in the past. 

Please review the list below of our Gamma-Psi heroes and leave your comments in the box at the bottom. Help us tell the stories, tell us who we’re missing, and feel free to leave your notes of gratitude to these brothers willing to sacrifice for the protection of our freedoms. If you have a hero to add or have longer stories and photos to send, EMAIL US or SUBMIT AN UPDATE.

Thomas Neff ’90, United States Army

“This photo was taken in the early 1990s when I was stationed in Hawaii assigned to the 25th Infantry Division (Light), approaching the end of a long walk to the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  This is a good memory from my time in the Army when I was a Field Artillery officer.”

Col. Joseph V. Fagan ’80, United States Air Force Reserve (Retired)

Thanking Our Armed Forces Members

 Ret. Col. Joseph Fagan ’80 knew he wanted to be an Air Force officer and pilot at the age of 13.

His desire to serve his country was reinforced by two teachers/mentors of his that had served in World War II. “One was a pilot and the other was a bombardier,” he said. “They were a terrific, positive influence on my life, and I remained in touch with them long after school until they passed.”

“I entered the Air Force the same day I graduated from Lehigh: June 1, 1980,” he continued. “I had tremendous hope, aspirations, and optimism about what I would do and [felt] the importance of doing it well. My Air Force career tremendously exceeded my expectations. I spent the next 30 years doing things, going places, and meeting people that I could never have dreamed would have been possible—at least certainly not for me.”

“Almost my entire career was in airlift—first in VIP airlift (government and military dignitaries), then for 20 years, I was in strategic airlift, flying the C-5 Galaxy, which at the time was the world's largest aircraft. I flew with a large crew (anywhere from 7 to 20 crew members), and participated in every mission type imaginable. This included wartime strategic airlift, humanitarian relief, nation building, presidential support, air refueling, and many other unique missions.”

“I reluctantly retired in 2010 only because of statutory limits, and would have gladly stayed longer,” Col. Fagan said. “I feel tremendously grateful to the Air Force and our country for giving me the opportunity to serve. My son is now a junior at the University of Illinois, and is in AFROTC and hopes to be an Air Force pilot. It makes me very proud that he has chosen to do so, and I am confident he will derive the same sense of service and contribution my career brought me. It could not have been better.”

Commander Mitch Cihomsky ’75, United State Naval Reserve (Retired) 

Gary Tarantino ’70, Army National Guard

SP4 (1970 to 1976)

James Pressler ’69, United States Air Force

Communications Electronics Officer with USAF Security Service (four years)

“After active duty, I served for twenty four more years in Reserves, retiring in 1997 with rank of Lt. Col.  Also, while in reserves, I cross trained as Public Affairs Officer.”

Major Richard Bell ’68, United States Air Force

Chief of Medical Services Myrtle Beach AFB 

Charles Cosgrove ’68, United States Army General Attorney 

Dave Barber ’66, United States Navy

“I served in the Navy from 1966 to 1969 with my first four months at Officer Candidate School. I was commissioned as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer in December 1966 in the same officer class as John Kerry, the current Secretary of State. I served as a construction contracts officer for one and a half years at NAS Albany, GA and then for ten months as a staff officer with the Third Naval Construction Brigade (Seabees) in DaNang, Vietnam. My highest rank was Lieutenant, CEC, USNR.”

Mike Cook ’60, United States Air Force

Completed Lehigh USAF ROTC

Served as medical supply officer, finished as a Captain (1960 to 1965)

Mr. Gerard Gessner Jr. ’60, PE United States Air Force/22 CES/ CEPT

Chief, Tech Support Element 

Captain H. Stanley Stoney Jr. ’59, United States Marine Corps

Active and reserve duty (1960-1973)

Edgar Bergmiller ’52, United States Navy

Served 2 years in U.S. Navy plus 4 years in Navy Reserves, as a Yeoman 3rd class.

The Late Thomas M. Rienzi ’41 – United States Army (World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Wars)

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas M. Rienzi was said to be one of the best army communicators. During World War II, he served as the commander, 96th Signal Battalion, in China, Burma, and India. In 1948, upon completion of his Master’s degree in electrical engineering, he was assigned to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Sandia Base, N.M. In 1955, he served as a tactical instructor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. When he retired in 1979, he was deputy director general, chief of staff, and chief engineer of NATO Integrated Communications Systems Management Agency (NICSMA) in Brussels, Belgium. Thomas remained committed to veterans throughout his life, lobbying for veterans health rights even after his retirement. The retired Lt. Gen. passed away on December 15, 2010. Thomas was known for his kind heart, his dedication to serving his country, and his love for mentoring soldiers. Click HERE to read his obituary.

The Late Fred Kornet Jr. ’40, United States Army (Retired)

The Late Col. Robert McQuail ’39, United States Army

Following graduation from Lehigh in 1939, Col. Robert McQuail joined the Army. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Pacific. Following the war, he was in command of an infantry regiment and studied at the Command and General Staff School and the Army War College. From 1958 to 1961, he was commander of the U.S. military liaison mission in Potsdam, East Germany, and in this capacity, he negotiated for the release of reconnaissance aircraft pilots who were shot down over East-bloc nations. Click HERE to read his obituary.

The Late Lt. Edwin Bauer Jr., Branch?

The Late Lt. David Curtis Henry, Branch?

The Late Capt. John Miller, Branch?